Chiropractic for Runners

With more and more people taking up recreational running in the US, the number of running associated injuries has also increased. Commonly reported cases include shin splints, patellofermoral pain syndromes, Achilles tendinitis, flat feet, and compartmental syndromes and stress fractures. All these injuries are a result of cumulative stress reactions to soft tissues and bones. While running, the musculoskeletal system may absorb up to 250-300% of the runner’s weight on the heel strike, and this exerts stress on the body.

running injury

Chiropractors can help to alleviate pain and non-specific symptoms associated with running, usually from the gradual onset of regular stress on the soft tissues and bones. If these symptoms are caught early, they can then be effectively managed and reduced in a short period of time. Chiropractic treatment can help excessive pronation, the inward rolling of the hind foot and the midfoot beyond the acceptable parameters of general walking and running; prolonged internal rotation of the internal extremity, the inward rotation of the femur, which transmits stress to the pelvic region; and excessive supination, and those with very high arches who are very sensitive to stress reactions and fractures.  

While chiropractic treatment can help with pain and injuries, its biggest advantage to runners and athletes is preventive care. Many runners, athletes and non-athletes may ask – why pay for chiropractic treatment when there is no pain to treat? It’s much easier to maintain good health and prevent injury than to treat somebody already in pain. The danger with running injuries is that they are likely to be caused by repetitive stress and alignment problems that take time to develop, and an even longer time for the pain to start. If our bodies stayed in perfect alignment, then we would be able to cope with the regular stress running delivers. However, very few of us have perfect alignment, and in many cases those with flat feet or high arches are at risk to extra cumulative stress to the body.

In preventive cases, Dr. Carly can give a good overall evaluation, teaching the patient how to prevent injuries and maintain good alignment – thereby reducing the chance of injury. For those looking for preventive treatment, she can help assess and evaluate your condition by offering scans of your feet, testing for strength imbalances and an analysis of your posture. In addition, the chiropractor can also suggest a program suited to your needs to prevent injury in the future.

Every body is different. If you have questions about this article or whether chiropractic is an appropriate choice for your specific situation, please ask. We are here to help!

 

Is it Normal for Knees to Pop and Crack?

Many people experience a popping or cracking noise in their knees as they squat down or bend their knees, and this seems to happen with increasing regularity as we age. The medical term for this condition is called crepitus. It is a very normal phenomenon and, so long as it is painless, there is nothing to be overly concerned about. Whether young or old, cracking and popping of the knees is a common occurrence.

Crepitus can be caused by many things, and scientists are still not completely certain why it happens. One of the reasons for the popping sound may be that the patella is slightly out of alignment and is rubbing against the front of the femur or the adjacent soft tissue. Another condition calledcavitation can cause a popping sound when small bubbles of carbon dioxide, which are normally suspended in the synovial fluid that lubricates the knee joint, form a larger bubble and make a popping sound as the knee is bent or twisted (think bubble wrap). Lax ligaments have been associated with an increase in cavitation. Changes in altitude or barometric pressure can often exacerbate the popping sound, such as on plane flights or when there is a change in the weather.

However, if the cracking or popping noise is accompanied by pain on a regular basis, or the knee catches or locks up, then you may have some cause for concern. Pain, sometimes accompanied by a grinding sensation, may be an indication that there is tissue damage to the articulating surfaces of the joint, such as tear to the meniscus. The cartilage behind the kneecap can fray, leading to the pain and popping sound of patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is generally caused by an overuse and misalignment of the hips, knees and ankles.

Swelling and/or stiffness may be indications of early arthritis, bursitis, gout or tendinitis. To be sure you do not damage the joint further, which may require surgery to correct, it is wise to consult with your chiropractor to stop any further damage before it starts and rid yourself of knee pain.

Dr. Carly May of Denver Sports and Family Chiropractic Center can help to realign any joints that are misaligned, which may be contributing to the problem, in addition to suggesting specific stretching and strengthening exercises that you can do at home to support the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the knee. Weak quadriceps is one of the foremost causes of knee pain, so exercises to strengthen this area may be a good idea. Trigger point dry needling can be used to help facilitate quad firing.